Large vehicle training

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Has anyone who had a horse that is frightened of traffic, specifically lorries, buses, tractors put there horse in a field next to a busy road where traffic is constant. Did it help the horse in getting over his fears. I'm thinking along the lines of like the gypsies where their tethered on the roadside to make them bombproof. I can't do that obviously.
I've been riding him down a busy road then turning into a quite road to calm him again then back onto a busy road etc . The busy roads just blow his mind and I don't feel safe riding him as he's twitchy and kicks his back leg out at fast cars or noisy engines. If we meet anything large he will spin or mount the pavement to get away. He's got better and I'm going to keep doing this but I need to think of something else to sort his issues.
So I'm contemplating finding a grazing field on a busy road for 4-6 weeks. Hoping he would get over it if he had lots of grass to eat.
I could also bring him home to my fields for weekends and try leaving the tractor in the field running for a few hours, then pop out occasionally, get on and drive round the field on it.
The yard he's on and my fields are not near roads.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
I'm not sure how much it helps once the habit has started if the horse has the option to run away from the traffic, I guess they could start to settle and run less or they could continue to run which might take you a step backwards.
Do you have a grassy area near a road that you could take him in hand to stand on daily?
 
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tikkitti

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Mar 8, 2015
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My cob I bought from the field was like that ( probably why he had had so many homes) he would rear spin and try to take off especially at traffic he couldn't see. I rode him on verges for a while and changed my route so I rode towards the traffic ( as I was on verges) then eventually rode again on verges but so traffic was coming up behind him. I did loads on long reining so he got used to all sorts going on behind him. My boy however is quite good if he is allowed to see the vehicle but it took a great deal of confidence ( big girl pants) after his performances to turn him to face the vehicle he's had a fit over, and when he's stressed he's like a coiled spring but instantly he would settle once he saw what his carry on was over. I've never had the option to turn him out next to the road but I'd of tried it if I could of, nearly 2 years later my boy is 100% better but I don't think he will ever be 100% in traffic and I'd never trust him with someone who wasn't a confident rider, he's not nasty but just looks to his rider for confidence at times. Good luck, honestly it was hard work but my boy has been worth all the effort and I'm so proud of him for how far he's come. x
 

Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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My connie was put in a field near the motorway when he was a baby, he is brilliant in traffic. Tractors, big lorries coming towards him on narrow lanes and he doesn't flinch. I've never had a horse so good with the milk tankers that come round here. Could just be how he is or could be because he was exposed from such a young age who knows.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Been thinking and hope I have a plan.
A friend of mine has a field nearish a busy road. It's not directly on the road but at peak time the traffic is very heavy and constant. There is a track from the field running down to the busy road. It's a constant hum of noise and buses every 10 minutes. It's also got a gate at the end of the track near the road so I could walk billy down there, tie a hay net on the gate and let him just stand there for an hour. It will be tedious for me to stand there for an hour everyday as I won't be able to leave him but I'm sure I could lose an hour brushing him. I went round there tonight at peak time and stood by the gate. I'm sure its worth a go.
Downside - My friend previously said I could use the field for the horse if I wanted but I said no as it has barb wire round it. He lets me graze my sheep in it from time to time.
He's away at the moment so I can't ask.
He currently has sheep in the field which are due to lamb soon.
Also I would have to put a white tape paddock up to keep him well away from the barb wire. But I could easily do that.
I'm sure if i ask when hes back he would agree to it. The nights will have drawn out more by then as well.
 

tikkitti

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Mar 8, 2015
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I'm sure it will all be worth it @chunky monkey I had moments where I was so so sick of my boys behaviour but I knew he was genuinely scared so kept going. Now I'm so glad I did and now I know so many people who love him from competitive teens through to more mature adults, he was my diamond in the rough, lol. I can't imagine parting with my boy now and in a few years time may let my older daughter ride him, I definitely think he's here to stay. x
 
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